Skybusters, NAR #535

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Pat Easter's L-3 Certification Project


Flight Profile

Motor will propel the spaceman to apogee where first chute will be deployed slowing descent until the the second chute is deployed at 800 feet. During descent the timer will deploy a charge in the motor mount tube that will separate the head which will be recovered separately by chute. There will be a bulkhead epoxied in the motor mount tube above the end of the motor to provide separate compartments for the motor and the base of the head. Alan Tuskes has graciously agreed to make the head for this project using fiberglass moldings.


The head was made by Alan Tuskes. It was done out of a mold that was made in order to do a stuntperson's burn mask. It's hollow fiberglass. One layer of 3/4 ounce and 2 layers of 1 1/2 ounce chopped strand mat with polyester resin. The surface has a mud coat of polyester resin and cabosil. It's a bit less than 1/4 inch thick, and is hollow. Right now, it weighs a little over 2 1/2 pounds without the funnel on top of it's head. I was going to drill holes through the funnel and the head so that nuts and bolts can be used to hold it on, yet be removable so that you can take it off and drill a hole underneath the funnel for a big eyebolt. Click HERE for some pics and additional description.

The main unit (body) will consist of 3 equally spaced ½ inch aircraft ply centering rings. Centrally mounted through each centering ring will be a 3.9” phenolic motor mount tube with 6” phenolic parachute tubes on each side. 4 36” lengths of Ό” X 20 all-thread will be used to maintain spacing and aid in rigidity.

The side legs and arms will use through-the-wall construction and be epoxied to a parachute tube. The forward braces will use through the wall construction and be epoxied to the motor mount tube. Tabs for the legs will extend completely between the two lower centering rings.

The leg bracing will be ½ inch wafer-board from Giant Leap Rocketry. The corners will be mitred to make clean corners. The leading and trailing edges will be sealed with ½ inch half round. The braces will be fiberglassed using Aeropoxy.

The sonotube will be split into sections to cover the centering rings in the main unit. Each section will be mounted to the centering rings and spars with screws mounted into the centering ring/spar separated by no more than 2” to simulate rivets.


Each 6 “ parachute tube will have removable assemblies at each end. The forward assembly will consist of a ½” thick ply bulkhead plate with a 2” section of coupler attached. This assembly will be bolted from above to the upper centering ring during final assembly. Parachute attachment will be by 3/8” U-bolts and quick-links attached to the shock cords. Shock cords will be 25’ lengths of 1” tubular nylon with sewn loops at each end. Quick-links attach the parachute to the shock cords. The lower closure will be a piston-style assembly consisting of a 4” section of coupler with a ½” thick coupler epoxied inside. This assembly will be held in place by 6 2-56 nylon shear pins.

Parachutes are Skyangle Cert 3 XXL with deployment bags.

Design and programming by Jamie Wylie. Maintained by Dan Vento, Pat Easter and Gerry Freed for Skybusters Rocketry Club. Please send your comments/corrections/additions to the webmaster.